SI.com 2003 NFL Draft 2003 NFL Draft


Difference of opinions

Everyone has a take on who the teams should take

Posted: Thursday April 10, 2003 1:48 PM
  Terrell Suggs Terrell Suggs registered 31 1/2 tackles for loss and 24 sacks last season. Jeff Gross/Getty Images

By B. Duane Cross, SI.com

Mama always said opinions are like bellybuttons: Everybody's got one.

We asked for your opinions of our previous Mock Draft, and here's a few comments:

  • My mock draft is simple. With the No. 1 pick ... the Bengals will take the guy whose career is now over. Sorry, pal. If only you had slipped to No. 2 in the draft, you might have a had a really good career. But the Bengals got ya and I hope you got a college degree; in about two years you will need it, or you will be selling cars for a living like Ickey Woods.
    -- Clay, Cincinnati

  • Why wouldn't the Jets take E.J. Henderson with the 13th pick? The Jets' linebacking core is aging quickly and a great prospect like E.J. could be another future starter. The Jets could help the D-line with Ty Warren from Texas A&M, and maybe Laverneus Coles' replacment is in the second or third round.
    -- Bobby, New York

  • I've seen the Browns taking everyone from George Foster to Jason Witten with the 21st pick, and I'm as baffled as anyone as to why Ol' Butch would want to bolster any position other than left tackle. If Tim Couch is going to do anything, we need a big tackle to protect his blind side. Ross Verba was not the answer. Davis drafts well, so I'm confident we'll get a good player at 21. I'd love to get a stud linebacker, too, especially since we released all of the starters from last year. Man, it could be a long season if they don't shore up the linebackers and defensive backfield in the draft.
    -- Mark, Cleveland

  • I have a comment on your prediction of Carson Palmer to the Cowboys with their No. 1 pick. I think it's way off. First, Jerry Jones has already stated that they will not pick a quarterback in the first round; he seems settled on sticking with Chad Hutchinson, especially given the incredibly bad offensive line they had last year. Second, have you really analyzed Hutchinson (who hadn't played football in four years -- an uber-rookie) in comparison to David Carr and Joey Harrington (both of whom had played consecutively for the previous three or four years)? Here are the facts:

    1. Chad Hutchinson played in nine games. He had seven TDs, eight INTs, 50.8 percent completions, 6.22 yards per attempt and a 66.3 QB rating.

    2. David Carr (the first overall pick) played in 16 games. He had nine TDs, 15 INTs, 52.5 percent completions, 5.84 yards per completion and a 62.8 QB rating.

    3. Joey Harrington (third overall pick) played in 14 games. He had 12 TDs, 16 INTs, 50.1 percent completions, 5.35 yards per attempt and a 59.9 QB rating.

    Based on these numbers and Hutchinson playing behind a makeshift offensive line every game, were Carr or Harrington better than Hutchinson?

    I think the Cowboys fix the offensive line problems and Chad shines. The Cowboys either pick Terrell Suggs or Terence Newman in the first round. They might trade down a couple of spots and pick Marcus Truffant, if Newman and Suggs are gone. There is absolutely no way the Cowboys waste their pick on any quarterback in the first round.
    -- Gabriel, Los Angeles

    Very valid points all the way around. Also, there were a few fans who wondered about who might be available when Washington, Miami, Atlanta and Tampa Bay draft in the second round. For this version, we've tacked on picks for those four teams without first-round selections.

    SI.com's 2003 Mock Draft
    Pick Team Pos. Player College Ht. Wt. Class
    1 CB Terence Newman Kansas State 5'10" 189 Sr.
    The Bengals gave QB Byron Leftwich the chance to become the No. 1 pick. He wasn't that impressive, so Newman fits the bill as a starting CB and punt returner.
    2 WR Charles Rogers Michigan State 6'2" 202Jr.
    The buzz is that Houston would love to deal with Cincy for the top pick in order to steal Rogers from Detroit. Makes sense; Texans can get a tackle in Round 2.
    3 DE Terrell Suggs Arizona State 6'3" 262Jr.
    If Houston doesn't trade, Suggs is a difference-maker pick. Again, there will be a left tackle available in the second round. Suggs won't be, though.
    4 QB Carson Palmer USC 6'5" 232Sr.
    OK, so the Bears have several needs. We've opined in previous mock drafts that defensive line would be the pick. Maybe Jerry Angelo has everyone snookered.
    5 CB Marcus Trufant Washington State 5'11" 199Sr.
    Dallas invested a lot of money in Chad Hutchinson, so maybe he deserves another chance. Picking Trufant addresses a glaring need; so will trading down.
    6 WR Andre Johnson Miami (Fla.) 6'2" 230Jr.
    David Boston? Gone. MarTay Jenkins? Gone. Frank Sanders? Unrestricted free agent. Drafting Johnson gives Jeff Blake someone to throw the ball to.
    7 DT Dewayne Robertson Kentucky 6'1" 317Jr.
    Minnesota somewhat addressed its defensive backfield in free agency, so the line becomes a priority. Robertson is the cream of the crop.
    8 WR Taylor Jacobs Florida 6'0" 205Sr.
    With Johnson off the board, the Jags can afford to trade down and still get a WR -- plus at least an extra pick. Or this is where Leftwich comes off the board.
    9 T Jordan Gross Utah 6'4" 300Sr.
    The premier offensive lineman in the draft, Gross would be an immediate starter for Carolina; Todd Steussie and Melvin Tuten each have a lot of mileage.
    10 QB Kyle Boller California 6'3" 234Sr.
    Baltimore has used 10 QBs since 1996, including a different starter in five season openers since 1996. Does the revolving door stop here?
    11 DT Jimmy Kennedy Penn State 6'4" 322Sr.
    Surpassed by Robertson as the best of a deep D-line class, Kennedy will prove to be a load in the future against the run and effective in pass-rushing.
    12 LB Boss Bailey Georgia 6'3" 233Sr.
    With the top two D-backs off the board, St. Louis opts for a linebacker who could be the face of the future, mixing size with speed.
    13 DT Kevin Williams Oklahoma State 6'4" 304Sr.
    New York could be a team looking to move into Jacksonville's spot at No. 8, or even Dallas at No. 5. The Jets are the highest-drafting team with two No. 1s.
    14 DT William Joseph Miami (Fla.) 6'5" 308Sr.
    New England has the option of going offense or defense (the Patriots also pick at No. 19). Bill Belichick sticks with his defense-first philosophy.
    15 G Eric Steinbach Iowa 6'6" 297Sr.
    Toniu Fonoti on the right, Steinbach on the left. Which way will LaDainian Tomlinson choose to run? Not a glamour pick, but rock-solid.
    16 DE Jerome McDougle Miami (Fla.) 6'2" 264Sr.
    Kansas City totaled 33 sacks last season. Even after adding free-agent DE Vonnie Holliday, McDougle is a step in the right direction. And some insurance.
    17 TE Jason Witten Tennessee 6'5" 264Jr.
    The last time New Orleans took a TE in the first round was 1993 (Irv Smith). Then there was Cam Cleeland (No. 2 in '98). Third time's the charm, huh?
    18 S Mike Doss Ohio State 5'10" 207Sr.
    It's quiet on the Tebucky Jones-to-New Orleans trade front. Maybe too quiet. Barring a trade, the Saints must address this position.
    19 RB Larry Johnson Penn State 6'1" 228Sr.
    New England has had two first-round picks in two of the past five drafts. The Patriots have taken one offensive skill player (RB Robert Edwards, 1998).
    20 T Kwame Harris Stanford 6'7" 310Jr.
    If Harris is still on the board when Denver is up, he'll be a Bronco. We preface that with "if" simply because Cleveland sits at No. 21.
    21 DE Chris Kelsay Nebraska 6'4" 273Sr.
    Cleveland may make a deal to move in front of Denver to nab Harris. If the Browns cannot, Kelsay is a logical pick with an eye on moving him to LB.
    22 WR Bryant Johnson Penn State 6'2" 214Sr.
    With Laveranues Coles gone, New York must find another WR. Johnson is less risky, but Kelley Washington is an intriguing possibility.
    23 S Troy Polamalu USC 5'10" 206Sr.
    Several needs could be addressed -- all defensive: safety, end (Michael Haynes) or tackle (Johnathan Sullivan). Any of the three would be welcomed.
    24 CB Julian Battle Tennessee 6'2" 205Sr.
    Battle's stock has been rising, replacing Dennis Weathersby at the top of the second-tier CBs list. Linebacker E.J. Henderson is another strong candidate.
    25 DT Johnathan Sullivan Georgia 6'3" 313Jr.
    New York is another team that can address its offensive line needs in later rounds. Sullivan is effective against both the run and pass.
    26 DE Michael Haynes Penn State 6'3' 281Sr.
    San Francisco needs defensive line help; Haynes would prove more effective than DT Ty Warren because of his ability to rush the passer.
    27 QB Byron Leftwich Marshall 6'5" 241Sr.
    Like we said, he may go at No. 8. Sans Leftwich, Pittsburgh will go for a safety -- Rashean Mathis of Bethune-Cookman or Ken Hamlin of Arkansas.
    28 C Jeff Faine Notre Dame 6'2" 303Sr.
    Of the three O-line positions, center is the least glamorous. However, it's a position that cannot be ignored. Faine will be a lynch pin for Tennessee.
    29 LB E.J. Henderson Maryland 6'0' 245Sr.
    I still say restricted free-agent QB Tim Rattay for a No. 7 would be a steal. ... And all the talk of who's the heir to Brett Favre would cease.
    30 DE Kenny Peterson Ohio State 6'3' 298Sr.
    After an offseason of losses, Philadelphia must improve its end-rush positions. Peterson is a better long-term prospect than DE Cory Redding.
    31 WR Kelley Washington Tennessee 6'2" 223So.
    Raider Al loves these kinds of picks. And if you think he's going out on a limb at No. 31, check out who could be No. 32 ...
    32 RB Willis McGahee Miami (Fla.) 6'0" 223So.
    McGahee is telling everyone who will listen that he will play in 2003. We hear you -- and so does Mr. Davis, who gets a coup.
    44 DT Ty Warren Texas A&M 6'4" 307Sr.
    Washington needs to restock the interior of its defensive line. Warren would be a solid foundation from which to build.
    49 WR Tyrone Calico Middle Tenn. State 6'3" 223Sr.
    Unheralded, unknown ... but teamed with Chris Chambers, Miami suddenly looks explosive. Calico posted a 4.34 in the 40 at the Scouting Combine.
    55 CB Dennis Weathersby Oregon State 6'0" 204Sr.
    Atlanta has signed two free-agent CBs and re-signed one of its own, but does anyone think Tyrone Williams or Tod McBride are long-term solutions?
    64 RB Onterrio Smith Oregon 5'9" 220Jr.
    A few RBs will be available, including Quentin Griffin. The Tampa Bay brass contemplated Emmitt Smith; that doesn't bode well for Michael Pittman.

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